By Jim Buckley
The Foresters came out on top Tuesday in what was literally a wild game in Pasadena against the Arroyo Seco Saints. Foresters hitters received 11 walks, scored twice on wild pitches, and reveled in a seventh inning in which Saints pitchers could not find the plate. That “lucky seventh” provided eight runs and turned the game around; Santa Barbara moves to 6-4 on young the season with a pretty crazy 12-9 win.
A back-and-forth early game saw both teams tie the game once each, before a pair of fifth-inning homers put the Saints on top 6-3. An inning later, though, everything changed.
The Foresters came into the seventh down 6-4 and then watched happily as the first nine batters reached base—and eight of them scored. Arroyo Seco walked six batters in the inning, and the Foresters took full advantage. First, Gavin Kash hit a two-RBI double to tie the game. Then, with the bases again loaded with walks, a wild pitch brought in pinch-runner Ty Hodge with the go-ahead run. Josh Stinson then beat a routine grounder to first for an RBI single and it was 8-6 Foresters. Miguel Santos earned the sixth walk for an RBI and to make it 9-6.
Wait, there’s more! The parade kept going when Tanner O’Tremba (pictured) smacked a single that fell in front of the right fielder, knocking in two more runs and leaving two Foresters still on base. A sac fly by Kevin Bazzell was the first out of the inning, but it was a productive one, running the score to 12-6 before the Saints finally got the ’Sters off the field.
The game started tamely enough, but quickly became a back-and-forth affair before exploding in the seventh. The Foresters opened the scoring on a Kash sac fly in the first, before the Saints took the lead with back-to-back doubles in the bottom half. Bazzell tied the game with his first homer of the season in the third, but a Saints’ sac fly tied the game again at 3-3.
Back-to-back worked once, so the Saints did it again, with a pair of homers in the fifth. The first was a two-run shot, so they leaped to a 6-3 lead after five innings. After the Foresters got one back in the sixth when Austin Stracener hit a two-out double and scored on (here we go again) back-to-back wild pitches.
Then after the wild top of the seventh, more nervous moments awaited Foresters fans listening from home, as the Saints scored once in their seventh, and twice in their eighth. With the game now 12-9, closer Nick Proctor came on to shut the door in the ninth and earn his third save of the young season.
Though walks played a big part in the win, so did timely hitting, as the first four batters in the Santa Barbara lineup each had two RBI, five batters had doubles, and nine different ’Sters scored.
The Foresters return to Jackie Robinson Stadium again on Wednesday, where they’ll do it all over again with the Saints. First pitch is 6 pm on AM 1290 and KZSB FM 96.9.